Featured Client: Germantown Kitchen Garden
Driving along the bustling 5300 Block of Germantown Avenue, it’s hard to imagine that tucked into a small side street lies a thriving urban garden and plant nursery. Germantown Kitchen Garden, located at 215 E. Penn Street is a flourishing ½ acre farm providing produce and plants to the surrounding neighborhoods.
Customers who make their way to the weekly farmstand on Saturday mornings will find an array of seasonal produce, freshly cut flowers, and native plants. At a recent visit in early July, Amanda Staples, owner of Germantown Kitchen Garden, offered greens, lettuces, carrots, onions, potatoes, beans and more all grown on this verdant urban lot.
When Staples first saw the land in 2008, it looked nothing like a garden. An apartment building had been demolished 35 years earlier and nature had reclaimed the space, with bushes and vines growing nearly two stories high. Amanda Staples and Matt McFarland imagined that this wild urban forest could one day help feed their community. And with the help of Jeff Carpineta of Solo Real Estate, the pair purchased the lot and began to work.
After a couple of years, their herculean efforts in transforming the wild lot into farmland began to bear fruit. Initially, the farm produced weekly CSA (community supported agriculture) shares for ten nearby customers, and business has continued to grow. Germantown Kitchen Garden continues to offer market share CSAs, where customers purchase an annual “share” of the garden, and are free to select whatever produce they’d like during the weekly market. The farmstand is also open to everyone, and includes offerings from other neighborhood makers: freshly baked sourdough bread, kombucha tea on tap, and other guest specialties.
Staples wants to invite her neighbors to enjoy the garden not just during the weekly farmstand, but also at monthly concerts. For the past couple of years, Germantown Kitchen Garden has hosted a Golden Hour Concert Series, featuring a potluck meal and a sunset concert with local musicians. These magical gatherings bring together a diverse group of friends and neighbors. The next concert will be on August 13th, featuring local bands OoLaLa and Papa Ed Stokes and Kuni Bi. Be sure to check out this remarkable farmstand sometime this summer!